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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Jun 30, 2007 2:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: We the people..

belonging to the fanbase known as The Deadheads...


Do we justify GD shows even if they aren't up to par? Especially Jerryheads..and his playing in general. I heard someone, in reference to So Many Roads last show, say that we justify GD shows, and we hear things other people don't.

I have also heard someone say they took their wife of GF to a show and the girlfriend said "does jerry mean to hit so many wrong notes?" Is it that we are capable of hearing through these supposed "wrong" notes? I, as a guitar player, truly believe there is honestly no wrong note, as gnarly and spacy as the music may become..and that these supposed "wrong" notes are -extra- accentuated if you play around with the 3rd or 5th, in a weird atonic way, and then at the peak of a crescendo, go back into the "correct" key.. or original key the song or jam was in. Jerry throws in a lot of things, whether by accident or on purpose, and I love 'em all. I feel they fit in, and i'm not sure if I am somewhat musically intelligent and can 'hear' well, or if I am just a biased little bastard! ha! Which of you guys are jerryheads? I know I am -- I've been digging weir's rhythm skills though, and phil... and bill (but not mickey?)

That's one of my rants for today. Discuss! Don't be afraid to hit "wrong" notes (posts that stray off) in this topic.. because if you are like me, I feel they all fit together

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Jun 30, 2007 5:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

It's funny max I just saw the last show reviewed and went back to look at all the thoughts and I am still puzzled at the SMR and BMR raves. I just don't see it but others are in love with those renditions. It's what the moment brings to the individual I guess. Also, it's timing. I started with the band in 84 and older heads said they were through at that point, 87 saw the touch heads and I even shook my head when they went nuts because they played the whole album some nights. I think 91 is the last great year while others would differ. I would bet if the band lasted another 10 years the folks who dug 1995 would be telling the new folks that the quality wasn't there as well. That's why I dig this library and most of the folks who participate. Lots of good recomendations for periods I'm not that familiar with, 1970, 1971 ect.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Jul 1, 2007 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

That was my (first) wife who said that. And in spite of stratocaster's reply, she did have an ear for Garcia music. I know she did because I lived with her for years. He and The Grateful Dead weren't her favorite artists by any means, but she had an appreciation for what they did. She was a classical pianist with perfect pitch and was very discriminating about music. Beyond Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Mendelssohn, and some others, she had a fondness for Cat Stevens. And she was a big Alice Cooper fan, too, so go figure. There's simply no accounting for personal taste.

The Grateful Dead made me happy. Plain and simple. Out of all the hundreds of notes they played every night, many, perhaps most, of which were improvised, if some were off target, I couldn't give a shit.

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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Jul 1, 2007 12:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

GOP: if they're mediocre (which I can't say they are freakin' outstanding) than why am I so attracted to the band? I saw tea leaf green a while ago, and they really surprised me. I can't say what a dead show would have been like, but these guys really really kicked ass. Is it the whole band together mixed with the vibe and some of the personality and character that I can hear through the music/tunings/banters ?


EDIT: i think I got what you mean "the Grateful Dead are mediocre".. do you mean by ways of professionality (if that's a word)? Like.. phil literally just picked up the bass (although he was a professionally trained trumpetist), and jerry (although I think he had some lessons early on? piano lessons) was never formally trained... I guess Bill was classically trained and all.. but yeah. Now i'm not so sure I got what you meant by "mediocre"

This post was modified by Max Chorak on 2007-07-01 19:49:08

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jul 1, 2007 4:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

I guess I mean that unlike slick "professional" bands--groups that play each song as it was on the l.p. or at least note by note the same nightly--the Dead just went up there and did it.
I remember a comment Bobby made once. When asked whether he knew as he stepped on stage if this was going to be a bad night, he replied that he knew that morning!

What makes the Dead great is what makes them frustrating: When they were all in a groove--watch out! But if someone was off, ouch. Never could tell from night to night or song to song. Remember--they played constantly--more than any other big time band. And there were some very bad stretches.

Having an audience like they did made the ride great no matter what, but it also allowed them to get sloppy or lazy, knowing that they weren't being judged for accuracy.

I will say this too, and you can all come over on the 4th and barbeque me, but after so many gigs, it's easy to phone it in sometimes. And, as things got bigger--like the venues and the stage size--the intimacy that allowed for more tight jamming was lost. Not to mention that they did get, uh, older. There are great moments all over the place, great renditions, some of which pop up in the middle of mediocre or lousy concerts. And there are great concerts with shitty moments.

What more could one expect?

Why was it that so many deadheads wanted to catch "runs"? For many, it was the hope of being there for that one night where it all happened!

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Poster: barongsong Date: Jul 2, 2007 7:59am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

Amen to that GoP. I agree with 95% of everything in that last post.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Jun 30, 2007 4:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

Sure, we cut Jerry more slack than others would. His stuff, stylistically, in many ways is an acquired taste. I don't have a habit of cutting those that don't get it when they hear his play. Dissonant notes was a part of the charm for me, like walking a tightrope up to a moment of sonic brilliance. Even some of the chord progressions like Stella Blue encouraged a dissonant behavior that became resolved at the end of a measure. It was all very Jerry.

As for his sloppiness, I find myself being overly critical, mostly because I believe that his drug use had a direct correlation to his level of play. In conjunction with his health issues, signs of aging and clear lack of entusiasm at the end, it's almost unbearable for me to listen to much of anything past the mid 80's. (If it wasn't his guitar playing it was his voice.)



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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Jun 30, 2007 5:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

"Acquired taste" was the phrase i was looking for

Maybe I'm biased because shows have become my main listening x_x other than live CD's its hard (well i know where to look, i just have a predilection to click on the net, and hit up archive and then a gd show) musicians like clapton or jimi.. Acquired taste though is the perfect phrase

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Poster: barongsong Date: Jun 30, 2007 7:27pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

I think what you are discussing here is the norm in any form of exploratory-improv. music. The slightly off key notes are like feelers to see were the music might lead to. Yea there are some dog-notes once in a while but how many times have you heard what you thought was a mistake turned into a beautiful Jam or song transition. I also think that the X-factor here is LSD in that it has the ability, in my opinion, to enhance your ability to read those "feeler" notes. Hence the reason you get the most exploratory shows during the acid years of the 60's and early 70's. Ok, I'm starting to sound like a lecturer in LSD-Dead 101 so I'll just leave it at this and let your own feeler thoughts discover the meaning of it all. Peace

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Poster: patourkid Date: Jul 1, 2007 6:25am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

To say that Jerry hit wrong notes because he didn't always follow a scale to the note is missing the point of the deads music to me, the point was it wasn't predictable. Most "pop" music is terribly predictable because the music follows very rigid boring structures. A lot of the greatest musicians (old timey Blues in particular) were never educated by books, IE. learning music theory, they just played by what sounded right. A lot of the times it followed a scale just by coincidence. Classic composers follows rigid scales and modes because in order to comprise vast layers of music with input from only one musician there must be a set language and means to describe ideas with. the dead didn't adhere to any one persons Ideas and they just used a scale or a mode as a very general idea of where to take they're exploration. Thats my take on it.....

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 30, 2007 3:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

Okay, I cannot speak for post 71, BUT during the time period I love, though Jerry might make mistakes, it was no less than Jimi, Eric, or the others...

I do not think that we cut them some slack...they simply outperformed the others at doing what they were doing, which I will admit, was not necessarily what everyone wanted to hear. But for those of us that 'got it,' it didn't really matter.

My point though is to say that Jerry was one of the masters. I don't know that if you went in the 80s or the 90s you would have concluded that, but during 67 to 71, you would have. There is no debate about that amongst the guitar players of the time period or the amateurs of the time that I have spoken to.

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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Jun 30, 2007 3:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

he had that niche goin no matter how less often it came out, even in 95, in my opinion. buttttt.... According to music theory, jerry hits a lot of wrong notes. infact, he will play a portion of a scale in some way or another, and it's in the wrong key, but I really like it. I can hear how it ultimately works, when the song is done and over. Jimi made an art of hitting wrong notes I think, and as for clapton.. I can't say much.. but he's got a pretty bluesy style, so as far as i've heard, he sticks with minor/major pentatonic, and minor/major scale.. I haven't heard much from him though

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 30, 2007 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

Whewww...I can't speak to the truth of the matter, as you can, but I would grant that in listening to 100s of hrs of Jerry as we all do, that I just suspect that we might find Jimi and Eric and the others might also have their share of mistakes if we had the chance to hear it.

A really good lead guitarist I knew as a kid used to say that they were all great, and that not one of them would have said Jerry made more mistakes than the next one, and that even if you went that route in judging him, he thought it was 'part of the charm.' I always appreciated that perspective.

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Jun 30, 2007 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

passing tones will stretch the key of a song, but they can create interest and tension...Garcia did hit his fair share of clams, but I'd venture to say that this dude's girlfriend just didn't have an ear for Garcia music...

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jul 1, 2007 8:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

When you treat someone as a god (or gods), which many among us do, and seek to collect every note they played, you will lose sight of the trees through the forest. Frankly, concert to concert, the Grateful Dead are mediocre (gasp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

They took chances, if that's what you want to call some bad notes in, say, Jack Straw. Me, I say as often as not, they were out of tune, tired, drugged out, bored, and so on. Not were they as super rehearsed as many of the "perfect" bands like the Eagles. Sloppy, overindulged, and so on. The latter day jams were often not much more than disjointed noodlings which led nowhere.

However, when they were "on," forget about all else--they could not be matched. And we didn't go to score them like Olympic judges. We went for the show--the audience, friends, vibes, memories, energy, and so on. ANd if the first set was mediocre, we looked for a better second set. And if the second set wasn't better, we waited for the next show.

We were (are) the faithful, and as such, we lived for the moments. The rest of it was (I hope) fun. But please don't tell me that this was a band that always soared above the clouds without fucking up. If you looked up at those clouds, you would see plenty of shoes slipping through.

But when they shined, they outshined the sun.

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Poster: Death&Mercy Date: Jun 30, 2007 4:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

Yes, in a way. We are too kind.

I don't have the time to listen to every show, nobody does.

I need to know what was great, what was average, and what was sub par.

Thanks for all the reviews, good and bad.

This post was modified by Death&Mercy on 2007-06-30 23:01:36

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Poster: dogsinapile! Date: Jun 30, 2007 6:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: We the people..

I think it has more to do with fact that we hear Grateful Dead so much more than others. How many other bands have their live shows recorded and critiqued like them? With most of the stuff we listen to, it's not like they had the opportunity to listen to it and overdub/replay anything...